Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Coen Brothers: Fifteen Films Streaming on Roku

The buzz for the new film from Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, continues to grow after its New York Film Festival screening.  Besides Rotten Tomatoes, where the Tomatometer rating stands at 89%, a good survey of the current reviews for the film can be found at IndieWire.  As further proof of the Coens' ongoing popularity, InstantWatcher has rated the newly available Fargo as one of the most streamed titles in the last 24 hours.

As it turns out, all of the 15 films written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen are available through various services on the Roku Streaming Device.  Five of them are available for free with a subscription (which as we know, ain't free): Miller's Crossing (Netflix, Amazon Prime), Barton Fink (Netflix, Amazon Prime), The Hudsucker Proxy (Amazon Prime), Fargo (Netflix, Amazon Prime), and Intolerable Cruelty (Netflix). Most other titles are available through Amazon and Vudu, as well as some other services (simply use the search function on the Roku).  I've listed the titles below in chronological order, using Netflix as the default subscription link and Vudu as the rental link (unless, as in the case of No Country for Old Men, Amazon is cheaper).

Posters and Synopses from The Movie Database

Blood Simple (Joel Coen, USA, 1984, 97 minutes)
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Raising Arizona (Joel Coen, USA, 1987, 93 minutes)
The Coen Brothers tell the story of a absurd yet likable family with an unproductive couple as the focal point. The couple has gotten themselves into some trouble while kidnapping a baby and give Hollywood one of the most memorable chase scenes to date.

Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen, USA, 1990, 114 minutes)
Miller’s Crossing is the Coen brothers' first successful attempt at reaching a wider audience. They illustrate an atypical Mafia story that sways away from the typical films from the genre like The Godfather or Goodfellas. Taking place during Prohibition, this film is an incredible piece of work accompanied by superb acting performances.

Barton Fink (Joel Coen, USA, 1991, 116 minutes)
New York intellectual playwright Barton Fink comes to Hollywood to work as a screenwriter. Staying in the eerie Hotel Earle, Barton develops severe writer's block when his studio boss orders the serious-minded Barton to write a low budget wrestling movie. His neighbor, jovial insurance salesman Charlie Meadows, tries to help, but Barton continues to struggle as a bizarre sequence of events distracts him even further from his task.

The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel Coen, USA, 1994, 111 minutes)
When Waring Hudsucker, head of hugely successful Hudsucker Industries, commits suicide, his board of directors, led by Sidney Mussberger, comes up with a brilliant plan to make a lot of money: appoint a moron to run the company. When the stock falls low enough, Sidney and friends can buy it up for pennies on the dollar, take over the company, and restore its fortunes. They choose idealistic Norville Barnes, who just started in the mail room. Norville is whacky enough to drive any company to ruin, but soon, tough reporter Amy Archer smells a rat and begins an undercover investigation of Hudsucker Industries.

Fargo (Joel Coen, USA, 1996, 97 minutes)
Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start dying. Enter Police Chief Marge, a coffee-drinking, parka-wearing - and extremely pregnant - investigator who'll stop at nothing to get her man. And if you think her small-time investigative skills will give the crooks a run for their ransom... you betcha!

The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen, USA, 1998, 117 minutes)
Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski is the ultimate LA slacker, until one day his house is broken into and his rug is peed on by two angry gangsters who have mistaken him for Jeffrey Lebowski, the LA millionaire, whose wife owes some bad people some big money. The Dude becomes entangled in the plot when he goes to visit the real Lebowski in order to get some retribution for his soiled rug, and is recruited to be the liason between Lebowski and the captors of his now "kidnapped" wife.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen, USA, 2000, 106 minutes)
O’Brother, Where Art Thou? is a Coen Brother's film roughly based on Homer’s “Odyssey.” Taking place in the deep south in the 1930’s the film tells the story of three escaped prison workers and their journey for a buried treasure. On their journey they come across many comical characters and incredible situations.

The Man Who Wasn't There (Joel Coen, USA, 2001, 116 minutes)
A tale of passion, crime and punishment set in the summer of 1949. Ed Crane, a barber in a small California town, is dissatisfied with his life, but his wife Doris' infidelity presents him with a chance to change it.

Intolerable Cruelty (Joel Coen, USA, 2003, 100 minutes)
A revenge-seeking gold digger marries a womanizing Beverly Hills lawyer with the intention of making a killing in the divorce.

The Ladykillers (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, 2004, 104 minutes)
An eccentric, if not charming Southern professor and his crew pose as a band in order to rob a casino, all under the nose of his unsuspecting landlord: a sharp old woman.

No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, 2007, 122 minutes)
Llewelyn Moss stumbles upon dead bodies, $2 million and a hoard of heroin in a Texas desert, but methodical killer Anton Chigurh comes looking for it, with local sheriff Ed Tom Bell hot on his trail. The roles of prey and predator blur as the violent pursuit of money and justice collide.

Burn After Reading (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, 2008, 95 minutes)
This is comedic tale of espionage. An ousted CIA official's memoir accidentally falls into the hands of two unwise gym employees intent on exploiting their find.

A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, 2009, 105 minutes)
A Serious Man is the story of an ordinary man's search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik, a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances, Sy Ableman.

True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen, USA, 2010, 110 minutes)
Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest U.S. Marshal she can find, a man with "true grit," Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not augment her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes. The unlikely trio find danger and adventure on the journey, and each has his or her "grit" tested.

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